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Happy St. Patrick’s Day everyone!

Poetry in Protest

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

This is normally a joyous day for many around the world to celebrate their Irish heritage, but we can’t forget those lost in the fight for peace and freedom in Ireland. The 20th century was a bloody one for Ireland, and it is only in the past two decades that The Troubles, as they’re known, have blossomed into a lingering peace. Seamus Heaney lived and wrote through the tumultuous post-war period, and while he lived long enough to see the current peace, the bloodshed seeped into his poetry in powerful ways.

Casualty
by Seamus Heaney

I
He would drink by himself
And raise a weathered thumb
Towards the high shelf,
Calling another rum
And blackcurrant, without
Having to raise his voice,
Or order a quick stout
By a lifting of the eyes
And a discreet dumb-show
Of pulling off the top;
At closing time would go

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